Ways To Make Windows More Comfortable/Usable For *nix Users - Desktop Customization & Workflow

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Dritz
Long time nixers
Despite all of my time getting used to it, I still often find myself tense and uneasy while working in Windows.

But, it's often a necessity to run a Windows OS for work/school. Here's some things I use to ease the pain:

- Gow (because I have issues with Cygwin)
https://github.com/bmatzelle/gow (look @ the readme file)

It basically brings Unix commands to cmd.exe. This one is a life-saver.

- Rainmeter (Ultimate 'skinning' tool)
http://rainmeter.net

I still have not taken a deep dive into this one, but it's amazing! Woot!

- Vimperator (FF extension)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox...imperator/

Vim keybindings for Firefox? I can't say no. I use this one on my Debian install as well.


So, what programs do you use to cope with using Winblows?

Anyone?


Note: LOL, you know you've been working for too long when you hit 'Ctrl+s' after writing a few sentences in a text-box in an internet browser.
"Willful ignorance is a crime"
venam
Administrators
I installed vimperator, it's really nifty, I love it; However it still feels weird to use vim keybinding inside FF, but it's way more convenient.
vompatti
Long time nixers
Don't forget cygwin if you wanna go even more geek :)
Dritz
Long time nixers
I do like Cygwin, it's just not the same as running a *nix machine! :(

Using Cygwin is like getting one bite of ice cream, and not getting to eat the rest.
"Willful ignorance is a crime"
zygotb
Long time nixers
I am no longer required to use any specific software, so I always try to keep a boot USB flash drive with me wherever I go. (I also try to bring my netbook)
Someone doesn't appreciate my php generated image!
Dritz
Long time nixers
What job do you have where you can pull that off? LOL
"Willful ignorance is a crime"
zygotb
Long time nixers
I am self employed.
No one else will hire me. :)
Someone doesn't appreciate my php generated image!
zygotb
Long time nixers
As little as I can get away with. :)
Someone doesn't appreciate my php generated image!
Nihility
Members
Dritz
Long time nixers
Wow, thank you sir! Excellent paste!

I really found the section on window tiling quite intriguing.

I'll have to look more into AutoHotKey. (I've never really messed with it extensively)
"Willful ignorance is a crime"
gurhush
Long time nixers
I will certainly use this thread for reference if I ever install Windows again. Thanks!
venam
Administrators
Since 2012 a lot has changed regarding this question. Something called WSL, windows subsystem for linux, which let you run Linux within Windows.
Apart from this, what are some tricks you are using when on a Windows OS?
jkl
Long time nixers
I use Wox as a launcher, OpenShell as a start menu and (recently) Cairo Shell as a desktop replacement. It makes Windows slightly less annoying to use.

I fail to see why the WSL is so popular. I actually prefer native tools and the PowerShell has become acceptable in 2020. And there’s the awesome (but commercial) Hamilton C shell (a native csh on the Windows API) for everything else.

The last non-Windows tool I had used on my work Windows PC, Acme, has a native clone called edwood now. I’m happy without trying to make Windows emulate Linux.
freem
Nixers
I recently reinstalled "zim", which is a tool to have a "desktop wiki", useful for notes. Some of my old notes are still there, including stuff from the time where I was a young linux user, and still had to work with windows. Here are the tools mentioned in the "windows" area:

• xming
• mingw
• codeblocks
• winmerge
• notepad++
• ulk/guipro
• 7zip
• sumatrapdf
• filezilla

From my memory, some are absent (notes are from 2014), discovered in-between probably (at that time I wrote those notes, I didn't had to use windows, there were writen from memory). I notably remember:

* conemu

[edit]

As for the WSL question... I've seen that crap at work, in my last job (not on my computer, but on a colleague's one). It's slow and buggy, better to use virtualbox and run a proper linux in there. Or , well, the usual: you use a system, learn to use it. Windows _can_ be efficient, if you know it.

Well, at Windows XP's time, it could. At W7's time, too. I'd assume it still can with W10, because say whatever you want, MS have impressive skills, very old softwares still work out of the box, unlike linux stuff: we can, sometimes, recompile from source, but 10 years old FOSS binaries are very unlikely to work on a modern debian (or it's children), and even the build system is broken often enough.

The points where MS failed imo (for me, when I still used it), are: 1) it's hard to learn it 2) they removed many WM features I really used, like the ability to "dock" a folder to screen borders so that you can access stuff in it real quick. I'm not sure about that, but I think they also removed the possibility of "select multiple windows with CTRL+click in «startbar»" to, then, ask the WM to optimize screen for the selection (yes, I think I may always have loved WM which does the job for me, it's not just something I've learned 10 years ago, I've always used such stuff, even in w3.1)
jkl
Long time nixers
(04-01-2021, 10:26 AM)freem Wrote: As for the WSL question... I've seen that crap at work, in my last job (not on my computer, but on a colleague's one). It's slow and buggy, better to use virtualbox and run a proper linux in there.

WSL2 actually is a proper Linux. Yet, indeed, it makes no sense to simulate other systems, just like it is pointless to use Wine.
freem
Nixers
(04-01-2021, 03:01 PM)jkl Wrote: Yet, indeed, it makes no sense to simulate other systems, just like it is pointless to use Wine.

Well... wine is an implementation of win32 api, it does not tries to implement or emulate windows's kernel at all. Also, the vast majority of programs on windows are not portable to linux, even for the open source ones. Programs on linux are mostly open source, mostly already ported on windows, and WSL tries to emulate linux, the kernel (from what I understand of wikipedia's article).

I clearly remember WSL1 being slow and buggy as hell. The article says "In benchmarks WSL 1's performance is often near native Linux Ubuntu, Debian [...] I/O is in some tests a bottleneck for WSL".
Well, now, what's the point in running linux softwares on windows, when they don't have IOs? There are many gratis linux distributions you can install in a VM or a cheap system. Basically, any old computer around will do.

Windows? Well, the free VM image they give for dev (which becomes unlicensed after few days) is a 20Gio binary. 20Gio. My current system, which is bloated and unclean, uses ~9.1Gio for /, 0.7Gio for /var, which gives for less than half. I have *games* installed there. One of my VMs for debian uses less than 900Mio.

WSL2, according to wikipedia, is a real VM, so we clearly enter the simulation/emulation area.

I'm pretty sure that if windows's API was clearly documented or simply open source, wine would be far more reliable and efficient than it is actually, and actually, it's able to run windows games, when WSL1 had troubles running a fucking terminal+shell...

I'm not saying it's a good idea to run programs through wine, but there are more reasons to do that than to use WSL. Basically, I see WSL as either a toy or a tool for people which must deal with a BOFH.
jkl
Long time nixers
Most Linux tools which are “ported” to Windows require a thin emulation layer as well, like MinGW. So that’s similar.

WSL2 is the actual Linux kernel.
wolf
Members
I am not a big fan of Windows, but this system is mandatory in the company that I work for. I have no admin rights, there's a lot of surveillance ( as if using Microsoft wasn't enought ) and rules. There's no WSL available for me, CMD and Powershell ( not so powerfull , neither so shell ) are crap and ssh inside windows console is quite weird.

That's why Cygwin is my weapon of choice : everything is userland, no admin required.

I use cygwin + x11 + urxvt + xterm + apt-cyg to keep a minimum of happiness inside that horrendous environment.
Dritz
Long time nixers
I suppose we do with what we have ay? I need to dig into powershell again. Almost all of my work is on Windows operating systems these days.

WSL1 was pretty limiting, but not horrible. Last year I was writing and playing around with some cross-platform Python scripts. Performance was noticeably bad, but still quite passable for what I was doing. I need to try WSL2 sometime soon!

FreeM metioned Zim. I'm checking that out right now. I've maintained a text file with all of my notes on software and hardware fixes for the past 13 years. It is about time that I turned it into a wiki!

On another note:

I'm still surprised to find that a thread I had posted in 2012 had been revived. It's good to see a community still alive after all of these years.

I still read Venam's blog every now in then as well. Old habits die hard I suppose. He's a bright fellow, and I enjoy how he expresses himself.
neeasade
Grey Hair Nixers
I use https://scoop.sh/ to get things on windows, and when I have to, chocolatey
opFez
Members
(13-01-2021, 08:34 AM)neeasade Wrote: I use https://scoop.sh/ to get things on windows, and when I have to, chocolatey

Nice I didn't know about this one. Will definitely check it out.